Five-second rule! Is your food really free from bacteria?

Five-second rule! Is your food really free from bacteria?

Here is what scientists had to say about the five-second rule...

Food on the floor
Food on the floor /iStock

It has happened to most of us - accidentally dropping food on the floor! 

The worst part is if you are really enjoying the food!

But many of us have found comfort in the five-second rule. The rule says that it is safe to eat food that's fallen on the floor within five seconds, as bacteria would have not yet contaminated the food. 

READ: Antibacterial soap no real threat to germs: study

Just how reliable is the five-second rule?

According to Professor Donald W. Schaffner, a food microbiologist at Rutgers University in New Jersey, the five-second rule is just a myth. Booooo!

The expert is quoted in New York Times saying that no matter how fast you pick up food that falls on the floor, you will pick up bacteria with it.

He came to the conclusion after doing a study with Robyn Miranda, a graduate student at the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences. They examined food that fell on different surfaces and examined them after less than one second, five seconds, 30 seconds, and 300 seconds. All the food was contaminated. 

"The 'five-second rule' is a significant oversimplification of what actually happens when bacteria transfer from a surface to food. Bacteria can contaminate instantaneously," said Professor Schaffner. 

So, the next time you drop food on the floor, think twice about eating it! Remember, bacteria or germs can cause infection and diarrhoea. 

READ: Fist bumps, high-fives spread fewer germs than handshakes

Image courtesy of iStock/ Liudmila Chernetska

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